CHE Welcomes Three New Staff Members

October 7, 2013

This fall we welcome three new research staff members to the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering. As such, we take a moment to welcome them.

– Dr. Badamkhand Sukhbaatar is originally from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She came to the United States in 2006 and has been associated with MSU ever since. Currently, she is working as a Postdoctoral Associate on the project for production of biocrude from municipal and industrial wastewater, led by Dr. Todd French. Badmaa is a fan of MSU football and Starkville High School. Prior to joining the CHE program, Dr. Sukhbaatar was a member of the Department of Forest Products.

– Dr. Erick Vasquez is a postdoctoral associate with Dr. Keisha Walters and Dr. Santanu Kundu. Currently, Dr. Vasquez is researching particle transport in a human lung, using both computational (CFD) and experimental techniques. Predicting particle fate/deposition will help in drug delivery methods design and in applications involved in mitigating the health hazards caused by pollutant particle inhalation. Thus, understanding CFD models and particle transport through the mucus layers is crucial for these type of developments. Dr. Vasquez is also investigating chemically tailoring the surfaces of nanoparticles for a wide range of nanotechnology applications, including drug delivery and medical imaging.

– Ben Hartenbower transferred from Illinois Valley Community College in the fall of 2002, when he entered the chemical engineering program at Mississippi State University. He received his BS in CHE in 2004 and has since become a resident of Starkville. Mr. Hartenbower has recently received his MS in CHE in the spring of 2013 with his thesis entitled, “Fermentation of Glycerol to Biogas under Isobaric and Variable Pressure Conditions.” He now works as a research associate for the chemical engineering department at the Energy Institute running the biocrude pilot plant, directed by Dr. Todd French.